14:30 Albany Stakes
This is a hard race to pick because literally all are taking a step up to Group level from winning a novice, and it’s hard to tell how good they are. The Crisford’s filly, Carla’s Way looked good when winning impressively at Doncaster on her debut, and Jabaara, the Varian filly, won at Newmarket on her first start too, I know they think quite a bit of her, so I’d just side with her.
15:05 Commonwealth Cup
The drop back in trip looked obvious for Little Big Bear after his run in the Guineas, he looked in control from the start when he won the Sandy Lane at Haydock, he won on top of the ground, he looks a proper horse. Sakheer is dropping back in trip also, didn’t quite stay in the Guineas, and he wasn’t disgraced as he was drawn on the outside. He was a Group winner as a juvenile, but if I had to choose one to ride it would be the favourite.
15:40 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
I ride Lucander for George Baker, I actually thought he ran quite well at Epsom, he finished off the race well and if he gets a strong pace hopefully he will finish off well again, but obviously he’s up against it in this field. It’s only a matter of time before Charlies start winning again, then they will all win, Al Nafir is having his first run this year, he won a competitive handicap at the back end last season, and he could still be very well handicapped.
16:20 Coronation Stakes
Tahiyra obviously got beat in the English Guineas, but she was just a bit behind in her coat, and she looked like she was going to improve for the run, she then beat Meditate in the Irish Guineas and I can’t see Meditate reversing the form. I think she will be very hard to beat, she looks a proper filly, Meditate is a good filly, but the rest are probably just playing for the places.
17:00 Sandringham Stakes
I ride Novus for Gary Moore, I don’t get many rides off Gary, but I think my strike rate for him is pretty good, he’s a very good trainer and every year I get the odd ride for him and every time he puts me up they’ve always gone well to be fair. In these big handicaps with the weights differences sometimes you can get bigger priced horses winning. She won twice on very soft ground, connections don’t seem concerned about the ground, but they did say if they got some rain it would help. Obviously we are stepping up to a mile, she should get the trip and hopefully she will run well. With Coppice they are taking it step by step, but she could be above average, she dropped back to novice company last time to boost her confidence after the Guineas trial and they obviously think a bit of her.
17:35 King Edward VII Stakes
You have to give credit to King Of Steel, he was going to run in the Dante but got upset in the stalls, so he would actually have been spot on in the Derby. He quickened away at one stage, and it looked like the race was all over, but it will be very interesting to see how he goes here, he could have run the race of his life already, or if there is more improvement in him today then he could be a proper horse. Arrest ideally wants a bit more juice in the ground, he was impressive at Chester on soft ground, I think they blamed the track a bit at Epsom, and he never looked comfortable in the Derby. Those two are the big runners, but if King Of Steel repeats his last run in the Derby he will win.
18:10 Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes
I ride Conquistador, George rang me a while back because he didn’t know exactly what weight he would have, he was obviously looking for a jockey who could do a light weight as it looked likely he’d get in at the bottom. I know George is quite bullish about him, at one stage he was worried whether we’d get in off 86 and there were 5 or 6 horses on that mark, but he was on top of them, he needed 4 to come out, and he just got in. I’ve never ridden the horse before; he’s only won at Wolverhampton and at Lingfield on the All-Weather so it’s back on the grass. We’ve seen George get hold of one off a decent mark before and they can improve 20lbs or so, so hopefully this fellow has a bit in hand. I think this race has always been the aim. That said, it’s a 28-runner handicap and you need the luck of the draw, but he’s quite uncomplicated, he jumps and travels. Tawalla would have a chance too but probably wants a bit more juice in the ground. Conquistador would be my best chance of the week.